* Prices may differ from that shown
My son saw a beautiful bird feeder on a pole at a neighbours house. Just why she wants a bird feeder when she has 20 cats is beyond me, but he had been begging for one ever since. However, the neighbour with the cats lives in a safer part of the estate. We can not put anything like this in our front garden and our back garden is completely enclosed with high fences and fairly dark. I decided to buy this thinking we might be able to suspend a bracket from the back of the house to hang the house up. My husband however, thought it would swing about and be smashed with high winds, and ended up putting it on a pole, which was then attached to a wooden fence making this high enough that hopefully passing birds might spot it.
This comes flat packed and does require assembly. Assembly was very quick, at least once a few replacements were made and even my boys were able to help, but there were a number of issues. The first was that according to Amazon's description this is " Beautifully coloured in antique pine stain". The photo on Amazon also appears to be of stained wood. When this arrived, the wood was completely bare and untreated, and no stain was included in the kit. The next problem was that one of the four pillars which support the roof had a very large thick split running over halfway up the pole. It would be impossible for a screw to hold in this - in fact it was wide enough that you could slide a screw in without a screwdriver, but it would not stay there. My husband made a new support from a bit of broom pole. Finally, the screws were of a very soft aluminium and could not be used with an electric screw driver as the heads just stripped in no time. My husband replaced these with a better grade of screw.
My sons were dying to put this up. They had bird seed ready and waiting and simply could not wait until Daddy got around to going to hardware store to buy wood stain or treatment. An untreated roof would be ruined in not time with our weather though, so my husband covered it with duct tape. It isn't teh prettiest solution, but it will waterproof the table. At last it was ready to hang and my sons happily climbed up and filled this with bird seed. All we had to do now was wait for the birds and we've done just that. We've waited and waited and waited.
My husband insists it isn't the right time of year for birds. I say rubbish I've fed birds year round before, I hear birds in the morning and see them flying about now and then. It is possible they haven't spotted this and we are still quite hopeful that they will. But my strawberry baskets are only about a foot away and they never had trouble spotting them. I did have a plastic feeder on the fence post once which was always well recieved but ended up with water in the feeding spout and was very difficult to refill.
I've read that the small size of this might be an issue. The feeding tray itself is 21 cm x 21 cm, and the height to the roof inside the feeding area is 15cm. Still that leaves an opening of 21cm x 15 cm for the birds to fly through, which I would think would be plenty for small birds like robins and little song birds.
I won't fault the bird feeder for the lack of birds. I've noticed that we have fewer birds here every year anyway - at least some of this likely due to an over population of cats, although we don't get too many around the garden due to the dog. The dog may be frightening the birds away as well, although she has no interest in birds, and could not reach this even if she did want to. She is also indoors a fair amount of the time. And of course I am still very hopeful that the birds will eventually find this.
I didn't want to invest too much at first, until we had a chance to see if it was going to be used, and with a price of £6.95 - I do think this is a good bargain. I'm sure I could have contacted the company for a replacement of the broken part, but the boys did not want to wait. Still my overall impression of this is that it is cheap to buy and cheaply made. My husband wanted to buy stain or wood treatment and paint this later, but it really doesn't quite seem worth the money. I also think if the birds ever get using it - it will be difficult to paint once it has a coating of bird poo, and of course it would have to be taken down for a few days, meaning they might stop coming. I think I'll just wait and see how this goes, if it does end up attracting birds, I should be able to get one season out of it. Then I can replace it with a better design, or even another cheaper one like this, but let the boys paint it first. If the birds never do use this, at least I won't have wasted too much money to find out.
I'm giving this feeder 3 stars. On the one hand it is cheap, fairly easy to assemble. Once my husband had cut another part to replace the damaged pillar, tt only took about 15 - 20 minutes with two children helping - which means it would only have been a few minutes without children. I do feel being advertised as stained wood when it was not must cost it a star, and considering the broken part, and the overall quality it would never have been a five star rating to begin with. If however,, they had simply advertised this as bare untreated wood, I would have bought it any way - I just would have bought stain at the same time, and I would have given this 4 stars.